Khinalyg is an ancient Caucasian village going back to the Caucasian Albanian period. It is located high up in the mountains of Quba Rayon, Azerbaijan. We are going to visit this place right now.
Locals say that here they sell the cheapest and the tastiest shashlik (barbecue).
The road is good, it has recently been built.
The road goes through the mountains and gorges, through riverbeds.
Khanalig is not far from here. 30 km from the village is Dagestan.
Locals are celebrating someone’s wedding.
This man is the main welder in the village.
Water supply system in the village is rather unusual. A well is made in the nearest mountains and is located higher than the settlement itself, it only remains to make plumbing and the water will flow down in the necessary direction and create necessary pressure.
The food locals eat is rather plain: bread, cheese, tomatoes, onions. But tea always goes first, three cups of it. They do not eat meat every day, because they simply have no place to store it. One family cannot eat the whole sheep in one day. They do not eat soup either. The main food is bread which they bake themselves. It is tasty with sweet tea, milk, cheese, vegetables.
Alomost all locals have come to the wedding. All the celebration goes without the bride. Only in the very end the bridegroom goes by car to her place and takes her to his place. Such a tradition.
Probably people of Khanalig is the main interest of the village. They are direct descendants of the very Caucasian Albania, which ceased to exist in the V century. They are not related to the Azerbaijani somehow. They have their own language which is spoken by 5 000 people (however only 2,5 thousands of them speak it fluently).
Their appearance is also different from Caucasian.
The village is said to be about six thousand years old. These people are direct descendants of Noah.
Near the village one can find a huge number of stones stuck in the slope of the mountain – these are ancient graves. There are Arabic writings on some of them. People still worship some of them.
The villagers are mainly engaged in animal husbandry. It might sound strange but there are no hunters here. Wolves often come close to their houses and they even have no guns to scare them away. So they do not keep many sheep.
Besides the villagers manage to grow potatoes on the slopes of the mountains. Women make clothes from sheep wool and often sell it to tourists. Some locals smoke and dry meat in the open air. There are a lot of ducks, chickens, geese and turkeys in the village.
Women make pickles in cans heating them in boiling water in huge bowls which stand outside.
They still make cheese in such skins.
This is sun-dried brick. They use it as the main fuel in winter. It does not produce much fire, but gives a lot of warmth. They dry in everywhere: on the gorund, on the roofs, they even make fences from it.
Their houses are fully made from stone, wood is used only for making roofs. There is always a window in a roof, at night it is closed with glass and polyethylene.
Roofs are made from stone. Between the roofs is a drainsystem that lets water flow down.
They have only one doctor for the whole village. If someone is seriously ill he / she is transported to Guba, the nearest bigger settlement. However they have a school where children from all neighbouring villages study. Their parents cannot bring them there every day so their kids stay at school for a whole week.
It snows here in the beginning of September – middle of October, but the tops of the neighbouring mountains are always in snow.
Locals do not mind to get in contact with strangers, they are used to tourists.
On the very top of the local mountains seashells can be found. On the height of three kilometres! It means that water used to be here everywhere. They also have remains of an ancient temple in the mountains.
The dark at night is absolute, one can sleep with his/her eyers open…
One can get from here to Baku for 2,5 hours.